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A note on the Linguistic Turkicization of Azerbaijan,Arran and Sherwan


On the Linguistic Turkicization of Azerbaijan, Arran and Sherwan there has not been any detailed study (for example a book or a Ph.D. Thesis) as far as I know. The work of Kasravi although a good start needs much more work since much new evidence has been unearthed since his demise.

Three drawbacks I have seen with regards to currents studies are:

Authors have lumped Azerbaijan, Arran and Sherwan together although Turkicization occurred differently and at different pace in these areas.

Authors have not distinguished between nomadic plains (say the Mughan steppes) and urban city centers. It takes many generation to give up the nomadic lifestyle, for semi-nomadic lifestyle, to rural settlements and finally to urban settlement.

Authors have not looked in detail at the differences of Islamic sects. For example in Western Iran unlike Khorasan, the population was mainly Shafiâi where-as the Turks that entered the region were overwhelmingly Hanafi.

This study is not a complete study but it sheds light on sources that scholars have overlooked. For example our main concern are the linguistic Turkicization of the Muslims of the area. It also uses the three above points to study the linguistic Turkicization of Azerbaijan in detail. Finally, we take a look at some arguments in the Appendix that carry no weight but have been promogulated for non-scientific reasons. Overall the study shows that until the Safavid period, the Turkicization of Azerbaijan and Sherwan were far from complete. Some other authors have mentioned that Turkification was near complete near the end of the Seljuq or Mongol era, but direct evidence provided here contradicts them. On Arran we have less data after the Mongol period although an important manuscript is brought to light. What this study does highlight is important manuscripts that have been neglected that shed light upon the the linguistic Turkicization of Azerbaijan, Arran and Sherwan.

These notes are mainly concerned with the linguist shift of the Muslim population from Iranian to Turkic languages.

Language English
Collection opensource


Reviewer: Sarmatian - - June 22, 2012
Subject: Turkification is really marginalization

Turkification is really marginalization
Reviewer: nozhat - - January 17, 2011
Subject: The article follows classical sources
The previous writers name is a pun on Armenians as "TakeaHayk" has no English meaning except that Hayk is self-ethnonym used by Armenians. So we can assume he is of some Turkish origin. Its an unfortunate but well known fact that many Turks do not like Armenians, many Armenians do not like Turks, some Iranians do not like Turks and some Turks do not like Iranians.
However, besides the fact that no one chooses to be born in a specific country or origin by their own free-will, this article hardly discusses anything related to current events.

The article was written after seeing abundant number of psuedo-scholarly sites claiming that ancient Urartians, Sumerians, Elamites and etc. were Altaic speakers (against mainstream scholarship) and thus providing wrong information on the internet. A prime examples of such falsification:

The article discusses Turkicization and not Iranicization. No doubt there should also be research done in that front. However, the previous writers forgets that the origins of the Manneans are not well known, but Iranian names are found among their rulers(e.g. Daiukku and Bagdatti), and modern source state there was no ethno-linguistic unity among them. As per Urartu, their territory covered only a small portion of the Iranian plateau. In actuality, the oldest proof of anything related to Indo-Iranian comes from the Mitanni kingdom 3500 years ago. Discussion of Turkicization, despite being a complex process is much easier from the point of view of the abudance of primary sources.

The article quotes major experts in the field but it goes one level beyond that by analyzing primary sources in Persian and Arabic.

Some of the features of this article which can hardly be found in current English literature:
1) Samples of the Tabrizi Fahlavi language which persisted well into the Safavid era. This is a monumental work by itself which has just been discovered.
2) Analysis of some words from Ibn Hawqal. However it should be added that several other words of Ibn Hawqal could also use deeper analysis. Another other local word in Barda’, that is mentioned by Ibn Hawqal is the word “Ruqāl”. The Arabic reading of Q for Persian K is a common occurrence (Qahestan/Kahistan or Abarqu/Abarkuh..). Kāl in Persian means unripe and it is used for unripe fruit. Ibn Hawqal describes this particular type of fruit Ruqāl with: “Its seed is sweet, and the fruit itself is very tasty if ripe and very tart if unripe”. A reasonable interpretation of this word is that Rukāl might very well mean a fruit whose outerlayer (face or Persian ru) is unripe(Persian kāl) but its seed is very tasty. Another toponym described near the city is andrāb which is clear Iranian word. Two other words for different species of fish are given. One is d(a/o/e)rāqan and the other is qoshubah. On d(a/o/e)rāqan, ibn Hawqal mentions it is very oily fish(Ibn Hawqal 1993:86-87). This fish might have a relationship to the Persian word Roghan (oil). Finally, on q(a/o/e)shubah, ibn Hawal simply mentions it is tasty. The word might be a compound word of Qosh(Kash which is another transliteration of the word Xosh=good, sweet) and ubah (water).
Two new sources also deserve further analysis:
Sarih al-Mulk
صریح المک

Tuhfayeh Saami
تحفهۀ سامی
I would welcome comments from any Western scholar (institution affiliated with real name) on the weakness and strenghts of this article. Of course Turkish people are also free to comment although emotional comments like the one from the previous user had no relationship to the article itself.
Reviewer: takeahayk - - January 12, 2011
Subject: Biased, unscholarly and unacademic article
This unsigned article by a person with probably no legitimate academic and scholarly credentials is very biased, bringing Wikipedia-style demagoguery into serious subjects that deserve and demand academic-quality analysis. The article is clearly written by an Iranian national with strong nationalistic feelings who prefers to seek "enemies" outside, such as Turkic people, instead of analyzing the such aspects as Iranization (Iranicizing) of much of population of Shirvan and Arran (collectively known, along with Mughan and Naxcivan and Daghestan, as North Azerbaijan) starting around the Achameneid period and especially during the Sassanid period. Any legitimate encyclopedia will show that autochtonous population of Caucasus was Caucasian, as was much of the Northern Iranian Plateua (such as Manna, Urartu, etc). Therefore, this unsigned wiki-article can hardly be recommended or taken seriously by the scholarly community.
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